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DEL MONTE FOODS BUILDS PRIVATE LABEL BUSINESS

 DEL MONTE FOODS BUILDS PRIVATE LABEL BUSINESS
 SAN FRANCISCO, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Del Monte Foods announced


today that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Pacific Coast Producers (PCP), a canned fruit and tomato processor based in Lodi, Calif.
 Under the alliance, effective July 1, 1992, Del Monte Foods will purchase and market all of PCP's production, representing more than $170 million in annual revenues. To market this product, Del Monte will create a new private label division, separate from its branded business. This division will maintain PCP's existing marketing focus, which consists of private label retail, foodservice and industrial sales. PCP will continue to own and operate its production facilities as well as purchase raw product from its existing growers via its established grower network.
 "This alliance represents a major strategic move for Del Monte, allowing us to enter the private label business in a significant way," said Norman S. Mackenzie, executive vice president, worldwide operations for Del Monte Foods. "We are very excited about the opportunity to team up with a major player in the private label business. Del Monte will benefit enormously from PCP's private label expertise in areas such as inventory management and customer service, as well as its long-standing sales relationships."
 Currently, Del Monte's private label business represents less than 5 percent of the company's sales, and is handled on a "spot supply" basis. Through the alliance with PCP, Del Monte will become a guaranteed supplier of private label fruits and tomatoes. "This alliance gives us a base from which to expand into private label for all of Del Monte's core products," said Mackenzie.
 "Del Monte Foods and PCP have had a positive business relationship for more than five years," commented Larry D. Clay, president and chief executive officer of PCP. This alliance provides excellent financial benefits for our growers, plus the security of a long-term home for their raw products."
 According to Ron Peters, senior vice president, operations for Del Monte Foods, "There are important synergies between Del Monte Foods and PCP, which will allow us to benefit from economies of scale in purchasing and production."
 The terms of this strategic alliance are subject to ratification by PCP's member-growers as well as Del Monte Foods' board of directors and shareholders. Final approval is expected by May 1992.
 Pacific Coast Producers, formed in 1971, is a cooperative made up 160 grower-members. PCP processes tomatoes, peaches and apricots at its Lodi facility, where it also manufactures cans. The company has another plant in Oroville, Calif., where it processes tomatoes, fruit cocktail, mixed fruit, peaches and pears. Sales for the cooperative in fiscal year 1991 were $172.2 million.
 Del Monte Foods is an independent, privately held San Francisco- based company, manufacturing and marketing food and beverage products. The company had sales of $1.4 billion in fiscal year 1991.
 -0- 4/3/92
 /CONTACT: Dee Ann Campbell of Del Monte Foods, 415-442-5034 or Jim Schweickardt of Pacific Coast Producers, 209-367-8800/ CO: Del Monte Foods; Pacific Coast Producers ST: California IN: FOD SU: CON


RM-DG -- SF008 -- 4957 04/03/92 15:41 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 3, 1992
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